Yantai Hot Pot
At around eleven in the morning we are deep in modeling our final designs in clay. Suddenly the Chinese students erupt into a cheerful roar. We all look up and wait for the delayed translation. They explain that they are excited because they just received a text that we were getting hot pot for dinner. The rest of us don’t really know what hot pot is, but we cannot help but get carried away by their excitement and join them. We start building up our final models a little quicker.
Afterwards, the day flows by more smoothly. We present our final drawings in combination with our clay scale models to Jim, Kyle, a handful of Yantai University professors, and some local journalists. All goes well and it is beautiful to see how refined our designs have become, collectively. Then we head out a little earlier than normal, straight to hot pot.
We walk a short distance from the university’s West gate to the hot pot restaurant. The sign displays a sort of Asian Lucha Libre. We see Lucha Libre carved into the seats and frosted onto the windows. They hand us the menus and we can’t decipher the options, so we trust the Chinese students to order for everyone. Shortly a big pot, divided into sections of different broths, arrives. As we wait for it to boil they bring us endless trays of raw fish, meat, and vegetables, along with some cow brain, cow intestine, and coagulated blood noodles. We learn quickly that the spicy broth is no joke, as the communal hot pot warms not only our shared dinner but our hearts as well.
Easily our favorite meal since we arrived!
And if you still don't quite understand what Hot Pot is, here is a popular music video in China that might help you out...